August 26th, 2004

The Naad of Nanak
By Harijiwan


Photo by Nina Berry


Tuesday, November 19, 2002, is a full moon lunar eclipse and also the birthday of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the first of the ten Sikh Guru’s. In a time of religious wars, Nanak taught a way of worship that was beyond “ritualistic religious roads,” a Dharma for the seeker of truth, a path of perfection that anyone can follow. As we move into the new age and as the planetary consciousness is re-formulated, many have come to know Nanak as the Guru for the Aquarian Age.

One dark moonless night when he was 30 years old, Nanak sat with his student Mardana on the banks of a cold deep river. Suddenly Nanak got up and walked into the fast moving waters and disappeared. Greatly alarmed Mardana cried out and heard only the sounds of the rushing waters. Villagers came and they searched and they called and eventually with much sadness they concluded Nanak had drowned and the river had carried him away.

Three days passed and on the night of the third day Nanak emerged from the river and the first words he spoke were the Jap-Ji—a long poetic prayer of 40 pauris, or steps, that described Nanak’s realization and gives to humanity the explanation, purpose, and direction of human life.

Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam. So begins Jap-Ji. There is one Creator of this creation and that is the supreme truth. Call on that Name, that Nam, and realize your supreme self. Nanak describes the creation of that Eternal and Formless One-- “With one word of the Creator, the whole universe came into being and millions of rivers of life came forth.”---and instructs us how to live a life of exalted divinity. The entire scientific structure of the universe is contained in Jap-Ji. The recitation and mastery of just one line can bring liberation.

Nanak spent most of his life traveling and teaching. Mardana would play the rabab and Nanak would teach in song, always explaining the endless flow of the Creator in rhythm, in naad. Nanak gave to humanity the incomparable gift that divinity is realized not through some outward church or religious system, or through some knowledge or belief structure, but by awakening within us that divine sound. And by the recitation of this Name, this mantra, this Nam, we become wise and blissful and flow with joy and happiness within the sacredness of creation.

We who seek the purity of the incomprehensible vastness of Nanak’s attainment sing the song of Nanak, that song of the wind, water, and fire, that primal sound, that sound eternal, pure, without beginning, without end. We dwell within this sound, we remember the words of Nanak, and we are filled with light and bliss. Kundalini yoga teaches us how to hear these sounds, how to sing the song of Nanak, and how to exist within the spectacular brightness of the Eternal Name.

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